Langeveldt and Hinds ruin Middlesex
The combined efforts of South Africa and West Indies set up Derbyshire for a seven-wicket win against Middlesex at Derby. Charl Langeveldt and Wavell Hinds shared eight wickets as Middlesex were shot out for 166, leaving the home side to chase 126. Eoin Morgan was caught behind early on the final day flashing a wild drive, but Dawid Malan and Dan Housego built a stand of 55. Then the wheels came off against the unlikely figure of Hinds. He claimed 3 for 5 in his first five overs as the last seven wickets fell for 48. Malan, dropped early at slip by Rikki Clarke, began the collapse by chasing a wide ball and Ben Scott when in similar style. Langeveldt wrapped up the tail to finish with season-best figures of 5 for 40. Derbyshire's run chase was guided by Dan Birch's unbeaten 66 off 74 points as they boosted their chances of taking one of the two promotion spots.
Essex were able to set off early to prepare for the Friends Provident final at Lord's after their match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston ended in a predictable draw. However, Graham Napier enlivened the final day with 76 off 62 balls to boost Essex past 200 after their batting slumped against Warwickshire's seamers. Boyd Rankin returned 4 for 80 on his first appearance for the county, while Chris Woakes continued to impress with a caught and bowled off Grant Flower before having James Foster caught at slip. Napier began his onslaught against Ian Salisbury, twice lofting him for six, but Essex were 13 short of a batting point when Mark Pettini unexpectedly made an appearance following his vision problems. Napier cleared the boundary two more times before providing Rankin with his fourth wicket. Warwickshire's openers failed against the new ball before an unbroken stand of 57 hastened the agreement to call off the match.
Gloucestershire took a full hand of batting points from their rain-ruined match against Glamorgan at Cardiff as Chris Taylor struck 91. He added 64 for the fourth wicket with Marcus North (52) after Hamish Marshall fell early in the day. Glamorgan's spinners made a mark on the middle order, but Taylor held firm before falling to Jamie Dalrymple with his team four short of 400. Richard Dawson, signed just before this match, helped reach that target before the attention turned to trying to gain some bowling points. However, David Hemp's unbeaten 53 meant Glamorgan ended just two down despite the early loss of both openers.
Two former England players who feel they should have played more for their country shared the honours on the final day at Taunton as Surrey and Somerset played out a high-scoring draw. Mark Ramprakash, with the pressure of reaching 100 hundreds out of the way, cashed in with an unbeaten double century and Andrew Caddick rose above the toil of other bowlers with five wickets. Ramprakash added 139 for the fourth wicket with Usman Afzaal (65) and 90 for the sixth with Matt Nicholson (43). Caddick completed his first five-wicket haul of an injury-hit season when Saqlain Mushtaq was caught at slip as Somerset chased three bowling points. Justin Langer then set the field back to allow Ramprakash to reach his double before the match was called off. Somerset are now third in the table, just three points behind Nottinghamshire with Durham in second.
Dreadful conditions ruled out any play at Chester-le-Street as Durham and Nottinghamshire took four points each in just the second complete abandonment in the Riverside's history.